Her smile and her blue eyes were missing at the Lodge camp. But this time, Marco Verratti is back. This Tuesday afternoon, he fully participated in the collective session under the orders of Thomas Tuchel and his staff. All without any pain, enough to put his piercing gaze on this Friday’s trip to Monaco and, above all, on the Champions League, Tuesday, November 24 against RB Leipzig at the Parc des Princes. “We cross our fingers, but all is well, we slip among the relatives of the Italian. He has worked hard to come back to his best and will be ready for the European Cup. “
Optimism reigns, therefore, after a month of uncertainties. In mid-October, then in selection, Verratti comes out during the match, victim of “an injury to the right quadriceps large femoris”, according to a statement from PSG. On October 26, according to his club, he started the individual race again at the Camp des Loges, with a resumption of collective training in sight the following week, that is from November 2 to 9. On November 3, PSG indicates “a good evolution of his injury” but delays his return for “after the international break”. On November 11, Verratti definitely made his “comeback” on the lawns of the training center.
“No risk was taken. From now on, the focus is on Monaco, Leipzig and until the end of the year 2020 ”, simply explains someone close to the locker room. With Paris, Verratti has been absent since October 2. He missed seven meetings, including the first three of the group stage of the Champions League, which ended in two defeats against Manchester United (2-1) and Leipzig (2-1).
Ander Herrera and Idrissa Gueye, lined up during these two meetings with Danilo Pereira or Marquinhos in the middle, did not bring the same options as in the presence of Verratti. Like resistance to pressing, forward passes or fast ball exits. All that was sorely lacking.
For Thomas Tuchel, recovering a 100% Verratti now appears to be crucial, in the same way as the return of Neymar or that of Kylian Mbappé. “It has always been a centerpiece of the Parisian collective. If he is in good shape, there is no reason why he is not in the eleven, ”we remind those around the player. For the transalpine international, 28, the goal is to regain its fullness for the sequence of matches until December 23. On the program: reception of Leipzig and trip to Manchester in the Champions League or trips to Monaco, Montpellier and Lille in Ligue 1, as well as a shock against Lyon at the Parc des Princes.
The question now is to know what changes his return for Tuchel’s plans. In the absence of Verratti, the German technician has, in particular, made the choice to install Marquinhos in the middle and Danilo in central defense, most of the time in 4-3-3. With the association in the midfield between the Italian and the Brazilian, there would remain a place to be filled between Gueye (currently injured), Herrera, Paredes or even Rafinha. Without Mauro Icardi or Moise Kean, the return to 4-4-2 seems impossible for the moment. The choice will in any case be vital in the Champions League, a competition in which the club no longer has a wild card.
Article original de: www.leparisien.fr